NSP: When did you become a patroller?
Denny: I took my OEC class and completed it in the fall of 1995 and then went on to the OET training, completing that in 1996.
NSP: What was your initial interest in patrolling?
Denny: I started skiing when I was 12 and spent most of my free winter days on skis. After starting a family, I gave it up for 10 years (a mistake). A patroller friend encouraged me to take the OEC class and go for patrol. The kids were old enough to introduce them to skiing, so I saw it as something we could do together.
NSP: What did you find most challenging about patroller training prior to becoming a patroller?
Denny: The intensity of the OEC course itself and the OET instructor trying to undo my European close-ski-and-knees-tucked-together training to a wider stance for OET training.
NSP: How many cups of coffee do/did you drink during a patrol shift?
Denny: None — I don't like the taste of it and don't need the caffeine to be a charged-up patroller.
NSP: Powder or groomers?
Denny: Deep powder of course, and our Lookout Pass Ski Area touts itself as the number one "Powder Place."
NSP: What have you learned the most about yourself from patrolling?
Denny: That I like being able to help others with my skill sets with nothing expected in return from them.
NSP: What do you find most rewarding about being a member of the National Ski Patrol?
Denny: The camaraderie of the local and extended patrol family that has a "We can do this together" attitude.
NSP: What most excites you about your role as patrol director of the Lookout Pass Ski Patrol?
Denny: I just handed the baton over a few weeks ago to our highly qualified new patrol director, Brenda Steinbach, after my two consecutive two-year terms (the max allowed) were up as PD. I feel the patrol board and I made some major strides in raising the bar and the patrol image while keeping the family feel that is who we have been since 1938. We are one of the first patrols registered with NSP in the nation! For the lhe last two years, we have had a valued alumni member in charge of procuring pictures from family members of all patrol directors since 1936 and plan to line the inside of our log cabin top shack with those images in frames. The history of NSP is important on our mountain.
Also, for the second year in a row, our patrol had an injury packaging training day for all 25 of the local school district's RN school nurses; it was 100 percent attended, and they are asking us back for next year. It was a great community outreach by our patrol, and it looks like we may glean some of them for patrol or host.
NSP: What most excites you in your role as the Hiawatha Bike Patrol & Host bike director?
Denny: Being able to register the first NSP bike patrol in the nation last year. When NSP announced the offering for the bike host unit, we were also able to register the first bike host unit in the nation with NSP. I love having a great summer offering like the NSP-sanctioned bike patrol units for all of our winter patrollers and hosts to stay active and offer medical and other assistance to the public on our Hiawatha trail. Great job NSP!
NSP: Tell us a something unique or share a few additional facts about the Hiawatha Bike Patrol?
Denny: Our Hiawatha bike and host units, with the generous contribution from mountain management, are offering a no-fee Hiawatha ride for Pacific Northwest Division Convention attendees and their families on August 10, 2018! This is part of our PNWD convention offerings to attract patrollers and their families to the convention during what is always a busy summer for all of us. See the video link below. Our entire bike and host patrol to date is composed of all secondary patrollers and hosts from our ski area and many other Inland Empire Region patrols.
NSP: What is a day in the life of a bike patroller like with Hiawatha?
Denny: I'll let the video link below do the job to save print space. Just imagine yourself as a bike or host patroller with a clearly marked bike and multiple lights and patrol shirt. Just add your medical bike bag/radio and off you go for multiple rides on the trail to be there for our biking guests — we had over 40,000 last year and are setting new records this year! Click on this video of the Hiawatha Trail with all the tunnels and high trestles to answer any questions about the trail: Hiawatha Trail.